SEASON 1: SONGS OF SONOMA MOUNTAIN
 Here we explore the way we humans change place, and the way place changes us through soundscape, song, and story.

The podcast is made as an accompaniment to Ismay's debut full length album also called 'Songs of Sonoma Mountain'

There will be 7 episodes in this first season, so subscribe, stay tuned, and immerse yourself in the world of Sonoma Mountain.

Episode 1: Moving to the Ranch
Introduction to this first season, 'Songs of Sonoma Mountain' which centers around the decision to move to the family ranch as a person in their 20s, hoping to find purpose, peace, and deeper meaning through connection to place. With stories about wildfire, symbols in the American West, gender identity in rural places, and ranching, WTWB takes you on a journey to meet the people, animals, and landscapes of Sonoma Mountain...
Produced by Avery Hellman
Mixed and mastered by Selena Seay-Reynolds
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Episode 2: A Ride with Lu up the Mountain
A few months ago, I rode my horse Lu up the mountain to check on a pasture. There with the horse, I found comfort in the ways horses interact with the world, providing an escape from the ways I don't feel I fit in. Horses are in many ways an intermediary between people and the natural world, and therein lies the opportunity for us to learn from them...
Co-produced by Avery Hellman & Alexander Charles Adams
Mixed and mastered by Alexander Charles Adams
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Where the World Begins: A Podcast about Connection to Place

Episode 3: From Gold to Green

I traveled a few ranch doors down to talk to my neighbor Byron Palmer. He's a cattle rancher, but he may say some things about land and cattle that you may find surprising.

 

Produced by Avery Hellman

Mixed and Mastered by Selena Seay-Reynolds

Editing help from Jasmine Huff

 

Sonoma Mountain Institute: https://sonomamountaininstitute.org/

Grounded Grassfed: https://www.groundedgrassfed.com/

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Episode 4: When the Fire Comes to Your Door

Back in 2017, there were wildfires on three sides of the ranch, and brought irreversible changes. After getting through that bad year, I wanted to understand how this natural disaster had changed us. So I interviewed 3 people around the community, and learned about the ways the fires had changed the shape of our souls. In so doing, I also came to see the natural world differently, and learned new ways of seeing our place in natural history...

 

Produced by Avery Hellman

Mixing, Mastering & Editing by Ben Montoya

Music by Ismay

 

Bernie Krause's Work: https://wildstore.wildsanctuary.com/

Clementine Darling's Music: https://www.clementinedarlingmusic.com/

Episode 5: A Conversation with Nick Tipon

During our last episode we spoke about fires, and the greater context of their presence in California. Nick Tipon has much more to say though beyond that subject about the past, present and future of Sonoma Mountain. In particular, we talked about TEK--Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Nick Tipon was born, raised, and lives in Santa Rosa. He is a retired high school teacher and is a current Board member of the Historical Society of Santa Rosa, Fibershed, and is a member of the Point Blue Conservation Science STRAW faculty. Nick is an enrolled member and elder of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo). He has served as Chairman of the Tribal Education Committee and the Tribe’s Sacred Sites Protection Committee. He also served as the Tribe’s National Parks and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Liaison and is a former Tribal archaeological site monitor. Nick lectures on a variety of topics related to changes to Native American cultural resources, archaeology, curation of artifacts, and the treatment of Native American cultural resources. He consulted and lectured at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC and the Field Museum of Chicago. 

 

Produced by Avery Hellman

Mixing, Mastering & Editing by Ben Montoya

Music by Ismay

Organization the is restoring our creek: Point Blue Conservation Science, STRAW

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Episode 6 & 7: A Bird's Song, Song of the Mourning Dove

This is a story about writing a song, but it's about a lot more than that. It's about how the stories we create in our minds, fictionalized, rendered in our imagination may end up coming true in unexpected ways. And it's about how our minds may create, as a means to cope with the tragedies we may one day encounter...

Produced by Avery Hellman
Mixing, Mastering & Editing by Ben Montoya
Music by Ismay

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Episode 8: On Leaving Sonoma Mountain

It's been a life changing journey ever since I decided to move to Sonoma Mountain. I have learned from all of the parts of the mountain, human and otherwise. In this final episode of Season 1, hear about where I've been and where I am heading...

 

Produced by Avery Hellman

Mixing, Mastering & Editing by Ben Montoya

Music by Ismay

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Past Documentary Projects
Songs of the Klamath
An exploration of the connection between the arts and the environment through the story and landscape of the Klamath River

Ismay's first short film 'Songs of the Klamath' recounts a story of hope, adventure, and loss, and the songwriting that comes for from it. After leaving college and beginning on the path to become musician, Ismay looked towards horseback travels to find purpose and inspiration. On her journey along the Klamath River, she encountered wild stallions, tragic tales, and remarkable people living and working along the Klamath River.

 

The final song on the film is about the story of a mustang who was on the trip, Odessa. She was born in the wild, captured by the US government when she was a year old, and then tamed and trained by an inmate in a Sacramento correctional facility. This song is written from the perspective of the inmate, and contemplates his shared experience of imprisonment with the formerly wild horse Odessa.

 

Filmed in the summer of 2017, this piece was produced by Pint of Soul and Ismay. 'A Song for Odessa' was written and performed by Avery Hellman.

Horseback Tour
with 
The Brothers Comatose

This September, Ismay embarked on a horseback tour with acclaimed Bluegrass/Americana band The Brothers Comatose. Riding through the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, the bands stopped along their route for three performances, culminating in a night at "the Fillmore of the Foothills"--The Auburn Event Center. Below are photos from the trip.

Riding through ranch land
Riding through ranch land
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First day of riding
First day of riding
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Alex on Jack, a Gypsy Vanner horse
Alex on Jack, a Gypsy Vanner horse
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Ismay & Broco performing
Ismay & Broco performing
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"Are you real cowboys?"
"Are you real cowboys?"
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Riding through Cool, CA
Riding through Cool, CA
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On the Western States trail
On the Western States trail
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Phil, Ryan, the Brothers behind them
Phil, Ryan, the Brothers behind them
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Riding over the American River
Riding over the American River
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The Ghost Town Tour

In the summer of 2016,  Ismay embarked on our first ever horseback adventure. We traveled to the lost cities of White Pine County Nevada, one of the most remote areas of the United States, on a Ghost Town Tour. Check out photos below, as well as our DIY live video performance of "Babylon Has Fallen", recorded in one of the old brick ruins of Hamilton.

Interested in finding out more about our journey? Join our email list, follow us on Facebook, look for us on Instagram, come to one of our shows, or keep checking out our website.

The view from Hamilton Cemetary
The view from Hamilton Cemetary
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Outside of Shermantown
Outside of Shermantown
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Crumbling Stone Building in Hamilton
Crumbling Stone Building in Hamilton
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Purple Glass
Purple Glass
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On the road to highway 50
On the road to highway 50
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In the mountains above Hamilton, NV
In the mountains above Hamilton, NV
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The White Pine Mountains
The White Pine Mountains
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Old Jeep outside of Shermantown
Old Jeep outside of Shermantown
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Babylon Has Fallen